Topic : Proposal for Classic event at Draycote 2022

Hello, I’m Richard and I sail a wooden pre restored ‘Tales, 3482 and a Chippendale 9b, 2037, which I rescued and did up myself.

Having had mixed experiences of trying to join in some of the Silver Tiller events, I would like to organise an ‘open water’ classic event at Draycote in May/June next year. This would be for both the brilliant classic wide boats ( approx. years 1970 – 2003) and the equally excellent vintage boats (years 1946 – 1970).

My initial thoughts are to have separate starts for both fleets to give people a more even race with other boats of similar ages and performance.

I have contacted Draycote and they are willing to host a Saturday event if we have a minimum of 20 boats @ £30 each, which may seem a little expensive when compared with home club opens, but I guess it’s because it is a premier inland venue and they have paid staff and other overheads.

So why Draycote? Well, I was a member there for 20 happy years; my oldest son is still a member there, and it has had a history of holding Merlin Inland Championships about every 5 years from 1975 to 2015 in which a good many of our boats would have taken part. It is 600 acres of well ventilated water set high up in surrounding countryside, and it’s centrally located, within easy reach of the M1, M40 and M6.

I think the main thing for me would be to see these wonderful old boats together again in their element at an event which is designed to make them shine.

So I would welcome suggestions here as to how we run the event; perhaps it could include some training, a dinner, prizes for best maintained/restored boats or even a bring and buy for surplus kit.

I think it would also help if we set up a separate WhatsApp group for the wide classic Merlin owners, rather like the Vintage Merlin Racing group, so if you’d like to join please send me a text on 07914 303612.

Posted: 09/12/2021 14:50:02
By: Richard Burton

Hi Richard,

Youre probably not going to like this reply, but im going to do it anyway

We have the Silver Tiller circuit. I get that you may not want to do that, so for those who dont we also have the more local circuits, The  Midland Circuit being the one in point here. And if you - with us, the MROA through the midland circuit rep, put a lot of effort into promoting getting old boats to a Midland Circuit event at Draycote we might get 20 boats and it would happen. If we dont work together neither event will happen because everything will be diluted and there wont be enough boats.

I appreciate the idea, its not necesserily a bad one, but to get things like this off the ground you need to work woth us - and before the usual suspects chime in with the usual criticisms we - the MROA are interested in older boats and have tried many times to get them to come and play.

If you dont want to work with us - for whatever reason - there is always the CVRDA and again working with them you might acheive yoiyr 20 boats at a "rally" and this might be more up your street.

My problem with what youre proposing is you could end up taking boats away from an established event putting its future in doubt. The Merlin Rocket class needs its local events.

Posted: 13/12/2021 18:29:04
By: Chris Martin

Hi Richard, 

Thanks for sending across your thoughts on a potential event at Draycote - it may be that we could tie this into a Midland Circuit event although it is possible that the circuit has already been finalised. May I suggest that you speak with Martin Smith (Midland Circuit Coordinator) to see if this is possible? 

We have a really full calendar with the Silver Tiller, Midland Circuit, Thames and Vintage Circuits in addition to our Champs, Inlands, River Champs and Salcombe Week. Thats before thinking about club sailing etc. There is some concern from Members that there are too many events in the calendar, so trying to tie this in with an existing MROA series could be a good option, rather than have as stand-alone. 

Feel free to reach out to me on chriskilsbyDOTmroa AT gmail DOT com if you would like to discuss further. 

Kind regards, 



Posted: 14/12/2021 12:06:03
By: Chris Kilsby


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